(unsolicited) suggestion friday #1

So, we all know that unsolicited advice is rude, but what if I call it a “suggestion,” instead of advice?  Then it’s fine, right?

Working on that (admittedly shaky) premise, I thought it would be fun to use Fridays as sort of a catch-all day of things I’d like to talk about (and hopefully, in the future, things YOU want to talk about).   I was going to save this particular topic for a later week, but a discussion with a friend yesterday reminded me how much I like this topic.  So, first topic: quotations……

Ah, quotations!

I love quotes!  I have one for each week on the syllabus I give my freshman students.  It relates loosely to the topics of the week — and it’s usually something that I think is good advice/information.  Do they notice these quotes?  I have no idea.  Do they read them each week and ponder the great truths I’m passing on to them?  I doubt it.  But maybe some of them read one occasionally.  Maybe the quotes I choose make a handful of students think about something new.  Maybe.

To encourage them to think about (what I think are) awesome quotes, the final exams in my freshman classes often involve choosing a quote from a list of about six and defending or disputing the quote’s truth/usefulness/etc., using the texts we’ve read over the course of the semester.  I like this particular assignment because it asks them to synthesize new information with things they’ve already studied.  It also lets me evaluate how well they can make an argument and juggle multiple texts in an essay.  So it’s a win-win on the critical thinking/writing front.

I will not be assigning an essay in the post today (bummer, I know) — but I will pass on some quotes I like!  (These aren’t necessarily my “favorite” quotes – labeling something as my “favorite” quote is way too much pressure!  But they’re all quotes I like.)

I had a really hard time narrowing it down to five (which was the arbitrary limit I put on myself).

Some of these are explicitly Christian, but others are not.  I think they all, however, provide some insight on the types of lives Christians should live OR provide some insight on the world in which we all live.

John 15:4 (Jesus speaking): Remain in me, and I will remain in you.  No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine.  Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

Mother Teresa: We think sometimes that poverty is only being hungry, naked, and homeless. The poverty of being unwanted, unloved, and uncared for is the greatest poverty. We must start in our own homes to remedy this kind of poverty.

Thomas Aquinas: The things that we love tell us who we are.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe: Wisdom is found only in truth.

Charles Barkley: These are my new shoes. They’re good shoes. They won’t make you rich like me.  They won’t make you rebound like me.  They definitely won’t make you handsome like me. They’ll only make you have shoes like me. That’s it.

So, what’s your favorite quote?  Or if “favorite” is too much pressure: What quote(s) do you like?  (Feel free to explain why!)  Maybe some of your quotes will find their way onto the final exam of my students!  I’m sure they’ll be very grateful. 

(Side/Unrelated note: I had each quote in an awesome font, but wordpress took the fonts away.  Do any of you fellow wordpress-ians know how to use various fonts in posts?)

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